Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Autumn's end in Tucson

A lot of people don't realize that southern Arizona has a colorful autumn because they think of the desert as being all there is. Where you find autumn is in the river canyons. As far as I am concerned there is nowhere with prettier autumn colors for their intensity and the surprise as you round a bend in a trail and find another burst of color.


Photographing the desert in late fall and winter yields more fantastic colors with the sun lower on the horizon and not washing out all below it. There aren't the gorgeous colors of the cactus and wildflowers but other colors compensate for that and you do find an occasional wildflower still doing its thing until the hard freeze comes-- and some winters Tucson can go down to 10° F. which means a lot of garden plants have to be hardier than one might expect.

On the long drive down, we discussed an idea for a novella that would encourage readers to find a different way into my stories, characters and way of writing. I did a little research on the form for novella and it was about what I expected ranging in length from 17,500-40,000 words. 

So once I got set up at my Tucson desk, I began writing my first novella. From what I read some have chapters and some not. The argument against them is a novella is something the readers take in a single bite. To me 20,000 words seems like more than one bite.

My story is using characters from another of my books which has made the writing easier as I am basically picking up these same people three years later at Christmas time. Fortunately this was a book that never had an epilogue; so this will tell the readers that liked it what happened to those characters. So far the only problem is it has glued me to the computer a little longer than I might wish when I am here with so much to do.

For the house, me, and the books, I am full of ideas; but since this is the season where tomorrow will be 12/12/12 (the last such date until 2100 starts it all over and I won't be around to see unless reincarnation is true), and we are on our way to 12/21/12, it seems a rather magical time even without the Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa and who knows what other seasons. It feels good to be here, and my blood pressure is almost back down to normal-- almost.

And for anyone who wondered after my last blog here, our cat, BB is much better. That upset appeared to be emotional and he's eating and looking fine, enjoying walks outside when he goes with one of us as we won't let him wander around given he is deaf.

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